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In 2005, Balraj Khanna wrote about his reliefs, which he also called 'New Language':  As a painter, I have forever been consumed with the desire to infuse my work with a distinctive feeling of celebration, making it joyous and uplifting. This has necessitated constant experimenting with my personal visual vocabulary as an artist, looking and searching.

These reliefs are a result of a sustained period of experimentation. As in my painting, the starting point in each work is a high-density drawing on the board in which the shapes- organic, geometric or un-definable - are all interrelated. Which is to say they literally grow out of each other (see the enclosed sample drawing). The contours of each shape intuitively make way for the next as the movement in an orchestrated symphony. Carried to a conclusion, this process results in the making of a compact body of inter-locking shapes. Subsequently, the shapes are cut out individually by hand. The pieces are then coated with primer and then carefully chosen and (from a builder’s heap in the street) - not too coarse, or too fine - and spray painted in dazzling colours from an angle to invest them with a certain iridescence. Or they are painted in brilliant white for a dramatic effect as created by shadows formed when lit. In the next stage, these shapes are assembled or grouped at random on wooden surfaces of varying sizes and formats, standing an inch or more away from the flat background. Some are fixed to strips of wood to be suspended vertically from a white-painted wall, such as FOREST or fixed horizontally -NURSERY RHYMES. The lighting of these works is of utmost importance. A single source of light from an angle of approximately 45 degrees will create dramatic shadows, making the multitude of shapes leap to life. Pieces like FIRST LANGUAGE can thus be read like a flamboyant script, while others make mysterious and magical visual feasts. They become all the more tantalizing when we realise that all these shapes can be put back together. A discerning eye can work out that the shapes in the work entitled IRIS for example, can be reassembled to form the original whole, a veritable challenge for the viewers. Humble, it also echoes the currently-held scientific theory that our universe began with a Big Bang, that all matter originally formed one big lump.

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